Migrations and homicide rates in Venezuela

Mar 28, 2023 | 0 Comentarios

Venezuelan refugees in Boa Vista, Brazil taken on August 21, 2018. (Agência Brasil, Marcelo Camargo/ Wikimedia Commons) Venezuelan refugees in Boa Vista, Brazil taken on August 21, 2018. (Agência Brasil, Marcelo Camargo/ Wikimedia Commons).

September 14, 2018

Keymer Ávila | @Keymer_Avila

The year 2017 in Venezuela was very particular, which is why what happened during that period should not be generalized. As explained on another occasion , among the factors that must be taken into account for the analysis of the figures for this period is the virtual paralysis of the country for almost 42% of the year due to protests and the political crisis that occurred between April and July ; homicides and deaths at the hands of the security forces are not exempt from this situation , which impacted national life in various ways . Award a conjunctural decrease in homicide figuresa specific public policy would be more a matter of faith or propaganda, it would be necessary to evaluate what the development of this phenomenon will be in the coming years to be able to make this type of relationship.

Sometimes a conjunctural loss could not only be the result of hiding some cases and even corpses (not registering them, for example), it can also mean the transfer to other violent manifestations expressed in the increase of, for example, forced disappearances , serving these as a substitute modality. It could also be the preamble to large future increases in homicides , as happened in the case of El Salvador . For this reason, the important thing is to study the general trends, the slight decrease in the phenomenon in a single year, although it is very positive in terms of human lives, for structural analysis it would still be precarious information; especially because on the rare occasions that it is offered,The way in which the data is usually presented is not the most suitable .

Another aspect that must be taken into account is the phenomenon of emigration of Venezuelans that has occurred in the country in recent years, which would affect the total number of the population. The calculation of the rates is made on the projections that the INE makes of the estimated population for each year. In reality, the real population that we currently have in the country is almost never known with certainty, what we have are population projections that are always subject to a margin of error (this figure is only seriously adjusted every 10 years with national censuses). This situation becomes more complex if the precise and reliable number of people who have emigrated from Venezuela in recent years is not taken into account. If the homicide figures that should be reliable data sometimes raise doubts,

Source: Keymer Ávila elaboration with UN data (2018)

For 2017, the UN estimates that 1,425,336 people have migrated during that year alone, and some 4,162,272 during the last 7; other sources have presented similar figures ranging between 2 and 4 million ( Padilla, Torres and Michelena, 2015 ; Páez, 2016 ; El Nacional 2017 ; El País, 2017 ; Consultores 21, 2018 ). Asylum and refuge applications have also skyrocketed over the last 4 years (by at least 3,352%) ( UNHCR, 2018 ).

Source: UNHCR (2018)

This situation affects the real number of the population in the country, if de facto the population decreases considerably, but the calculations of the homicide rate are made based on the population estimates of the INE, it could be overestimating the number of the population and the The consequence would be an underestimation of both homicide rates and deaths at the hands of State security forces ( Ávila, 2018:9-10 ). These hypotheses can serve as a framework to explain the temporary decrease in these crimes in the most recent official statistics.

PS: I appreciate the enlightening and stimulating conversations with José Luis Fernández Shaw on this subject, which have served me as a great guide for this analysis.

Publicado originalmente en Provea.

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